Asking, Telling and Stuttering

I have a feeling that this could be a much longer post if I could sit down and talk to a bunch of people who stutter and ask them about their childhood and how they are getting on with parenthood … I’ll add it to the list for the future.

As a child, I was pretty curious. But I don’t remember asking a lot of questions thanks to the stuttering. Especially in school if something didn’t make sense, I’d just keep on reading the book or doing the homework problems until I got it. I might ask a friend. But I wasn’t about to ask the teacher.

The same thing was for my life at home. It was a lot of observation and figuring things out for myself. My dad is the person who has all the answers, but I just wasn’t the kind of person who’d ask.

Well, now I’m a father, and I find myself forever telling things to my kids. I explain this, I define that. I draw pictures for them, we look stuff up online. Sometimes I stutter, sometimes I don’t. But it doesn’t get in the way. The numerous explanations beget questions …and more questions. And that’s good — I want my kids to be curious.

The point is that those of us who stutter probably don’t ask a lot of questions. So we might be inclined to think that our children can also “figure it out” the same way we did (assuming they’re fluent). This may be true, but why assume that? We have an opportunity not only to connect with our children, but to practice our speech (and understanding of the world) on someone who won’t judge at all. Let’s take advantage of it.

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